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Weekly Update - July 30, 2022: YouTube Shorts Editor, New Gmail Layout, Twitter & Feedback feeds

There are a lot of updates this week! Here's some interesting beach reading for you:
  • Try the new Gmail integrated layout
  • New video editing features coming to Google Photos and Chromebooks
  • Create Shorts from your long form YouTube videos
  • There’s a new YouTube Creator Safety Center
  • Instagram and Twitter rolled back changes that showed more recommended posts in your feed. That is likely a temporary reprieve.
And there are more updates and tips for video creators, web publishers, productivity tool users and more.

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Twitter Chat: Communities and Collaboration

I am hosting the #OnEBoardChat this Sunday at 11 AM PDT on Twitter. The topic will be Communities and Collaboration. If that sounds interesting, follow me at @PeggyKTC or follow the #OnEBoardChat hashtag. Everyone is welcome!

Try the new Gmail integrated layout

The new Gmail “integrated layout” is now rolling out to everyone - as long as you have turned on Google Chat in place of Hangouts. You can get a tour of the new layout here.

Notably, there is a new far left menu that lets you switch between Mail, Chat, Spaces and Meet, and will show conversation bubbles when you get a new message. If you don’t want Chat in Gmail, use the new Quick Setting to turn it off.

One thing I like about it is the new search “chips” that let you easily filter your search results in your mail. For example it’s a single click to limit your search results to messages with attachments.

And behind the scenes, Google has new machine learning models for “more accurate and circumstantial search suggestions with better customization”.

What’s missing? There is no longer a “Chats” option on the menu in Gmail that lets you see all your Hangouts conversations. However, you can easily search your Chats using the main search box and then clicking the “Chats & Spaces” chip. And all (or most all) of your Hangouts conversations should be available now in Google Chat.

Learn more about the migration from Hangouts to Chat.

Note that if you aren't keen on the new layout, you can switch back to classic Gmail, at least for the time being, in your Gmail Settings.

New video editing features coming to Google Photos on Chromebooks

In the coming months, Google Photos will be updating their movie editing tools for the web. There will be an updated movie theme picker for automated movie creation from your photos and videos, or you can make your movie from scratch. You will be able to trim clips, adjust brightness and other settings, and add music.

The updated movie editor will first be available on Chromebooks, and will allow movie creation with images and videos in your Chromebook Files or Gallery.

Shorts from your videos `

There is a new YouTube Shorts feature that lets you use a clip of one of your own videos to create a new Short. You can add additional video shot from your camera or uploaded from your gallery to make your video up to 60 seconds link.

As the Short links back to the original content, it might bring in new viewers.

Learn how it works and check the YouTube mobile app to see if it is available to you.

YouTube Creator Safety Center

YouTube has launched a new Creator Safety Center, with tips from security experts, nonprofit organizations and other creators on how to stay safe online. There are suggestions especially aimed at historically marginalized creators (for example, women, LGBTQ+, or BIPOC creators) , who are more likely to experience harassment or abuse, but everyone can benefit from the information:
  • Keep your YouTube and Google account secure
  • Figure out a strategy for interacting with your audience, from hardcore fans to trolls
  • Manage unwanted behavior from others, including harassment and hijacking

This is part of the work of YouTube’s Racial Justice, Equity and Product Inclusion team.

Twitter and Instagram reduce recommended posts (for now)

Would you believe people get annoyed with too many “recommended” posts in their social media feeds? Both Twitter and Instagram have made changes in response to user feedback.

Twitter has been “testing ways to better personalize content”. Apparently a combination of “product changes” and “viral spam” increased the quantity - and decreased the quality - of recommended Tweets.

After user feedback, Twitter took action on the spam accounts manipulating recommendations and also paused their own experiments that may have been making the issue worse.

Meanwhile Instagram is reducing the number of recommended posts in your feed and phasing out a test of full-screen images and videos based on extensive user criticism (including from the Jenner-Kardashians). Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri Casey Newton interviewed Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri about what’s been happening.

Facebook and Instagram are trying to both connect people with friends and family as well as their “interests”. Users are apparently shifting their interactions with people they know to DMs and Stories, rather than their feed. And that means pushing more posts from accounts that aren’t being followed to encourage “discovery” (and compete with TikTok).

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said this week that more recommended posts from people you don't follow are coming:

“Right now, about 15% of content in a person’s Facebook feed and a little more than that of their Instagram feed is recommended by our AI from people, groups, or accounts that you don’t follow. We expect these numbers to more than double by the end of next year.”

That sounds terrible, but I’m not the demographic Facebook/Insta/Meta cares about.

YouTube and Video

Get your top questions answered about Shorts and the YouTube algorithm by Creator Insider.

YouTube announced they are “expanding [their] partnership with the music industry” to allow creators to use their partner’s music while still earning revenue. This is currently in the testing stage with a limited set of creators.

And in related news, this week Facebook announced similar-sounding Music Revenue Sharing. Creators eligible for in-stream ads on their videos with policy-compliant content can use the licensed music and get a 20% revenue share.

Rene Ritchie is YouTube’s new Creator Liaison. Prior to this Ritchie was a full time YouTuber with a tech-related channel with a background in journalism and marketing. And yes, by all appearances he’s another middle-aged white dude, which seems a bit more of the same.


Instagram will be asking randomly selected users in the United States to complete an optional survey about their race and ethnicity. The data will be anonymized and used by Instagram to assess the experience of different communities on their platform. YouTube has a similar survey you can access in YouTube Studio under Settings > Creator Demographics.

An internal analysis of the use of the web version of Instagram notes “we haven’t found any evidence that the Instagram desktop web experience cannibalizes engagement from the native apps. In fact, it’s quite the opposite — users who use both interfaces spend more time on each interface, compared to users who use each interface exclusively.


Twitter is testing a Tweet status labels, like 🌶Hot Take, 🧵Thread or 🎱Need Advice. See the full list. No word on when this might be available to everyone.

Twitter Spaces product manager @evanstnlyjones gave some insight into the new Spaces clipping tool, and how they designed it to be social.

Twitter is testing hashtags to filter Community posts. That should help Community members find the community content they are interested in.

Web Publishers and advertising

Artists and crafters of all kinds on Tumblr are encouraged to submit their online store to potentially be promoted on Tumblr’s Artist Alley.

For publishers who use Google Ad Manager to sell ad space on their website, Confirming Gross Revenue is a new tool that lets both advertisers and publishers confirm there were no hidden fees in their transaction. Aggregate gross revenue amounts are used to help protect the privacy of users.

If you are monetizing a game or mobile app with AdMob ads, check out these tips to improve your revenue.

Google is still testing their Privacy Sandbox, which is meant to help develop alternatives to third party cookies and cross-site tracking. They have apparently received feedback from developers that they need more time for testing. As such they have delayed the complete phasing out of third party cookies in Chrome until the second half of 2024. There will be ongoing testing, and as a web browser you may be able to opt in next year.


New email marketing tools are available in Gmail including email templates and “multi-send” for mass emails (including a unique unsubscribe link for each recipient). This is available for Google Workspace Individual accounts and some other Google Workspace editions (Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Starter, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, Nonprofits, and legacy G Suite Basic).

Google has updated the Android Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Keep apps to work better on bigger screens, such as tablets. If you use multiple screens, you will be able to drag and drop text and images between the screens, open Drive in side-by-side mode and more.

The Chromebook Gallery app is getting PDF editing tools, which should be convenient.

Google Meet Product Expert Nina Trankova has a list of 10 things you can do if Google Meet notifies you that there are network or other issues with your connection.


If you are sharing your location with someone in Google Maps, that person can set a notification to see when you (or at least your phone) arrive at a particular location. This should be helpful both to see that someone has arrived safely and to make meetups easier. You can turn off the ability to set location sharing notifications for your locations in the Maps app.

I'm also reading: “A Century of “Shrill”: How bias in technology has hurt women’s voices” by Tina Tallon for the New Yorker. Audio equipment and data-compression algorithms “disproportionately affect high frequencies and consonants, and women’s voices lose definition, sounding thin and tinny.” Women are given advice to lower the pitch of their voices, and then criticized for sounding unnatural. It’s a no-win situation.

That’s all the updates for this week. Subscribe to get the Weekly Update in your email inbox or favorite feed reader every week. Miss last week’s update? Get it here.

Image: Make a wish! Dandelion photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels. Free to use.


  1. I didn't like all those Twitter recommendations much. I want to see posts from the people I follow first.

  2. Ordinary middle-aged white dudes do get boring after awhile.


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